There is something about Nakuru town that makes it special. Nakuru is big enough to hide from people you owe money and small enough to have your favourite restaurant, movie guy, boiled eggs guy and the nduthi guy within a one-hundred-metre radius. In the recent past, our little town has turned into an attractive destination for revellers and anyone looking to have a fun weekend away from the hassles of life. We have clubs on the rooftops of malls and others that turn into parking lots during the day. Everything about this warm little town is progressive and you wouldn’t bet on it getting better.
At least one weekend in every year, the streets of Nakuru are swamped with throngs of young people eager and excited as they head to Nakuru Athletics Club. You see, every year, Nakuru hosts a rugby tournament that has become increasingly popular over the years. This tournament is more than just a sporting event. It is a social outing where revellers from Nakuru and beyond come to live out their fantasies, far from the watchful eye of their parents and society.
There are four types of attendees in these rugby events, first, you have the 30% die-hard rugby fans who are in the stands, butt clenched as they keenly follow the games. A smartphone in one hand and a tumbler of beer in the other. They are clad in tight jerseys and even tighter jeans, their protruding tummies being their most conspicuous feature. These guys are from the working class, they drive practical Toyotas and Nissans because they have recently started their families. They communicate in fluent English and they don’t have to sneak liquor in the boots of their cars because they have no problem spending some coin on the overpriced booze at the event.
The next 20% are genuine rich kids from all over the country who follow these events in every county. They drive their parents’ expensive vehicles and you can just tell from their expensive clothing and pretentious sunglasses that they don’t mind showing off. They park their parents’ Prado at the edge of the field, open the doors wide and just chill in the ride. They travel in pairs and you will rarely find these kinds of people overloaded in vehicles. At most, they travel as a foursome; two boys and two girls. There is always one individual in the group that gets too drunk at the end of the day and the others have to constantly apologize on their behalf. This individual is usually the one with the most famous parents, you become aware of this fact every time they go on a drunken rant because that is all they say.
40% of the attendees are university guys fresh out of high school who have recently tasted some freedom after relocating to hostels. These are the guys that act cooler and richer than they will ever be. The leader of the pack is the one with the driving license; he calls all the shots and decides who gets to ride in the car, when they arrive and when they leave. A five-seater vehicle carries eight such individuals. The number of occupants is reliant on the amount of money needed to fuel the car, pay the entrance fee and buy cheap liquor. The more occupants the greater the need for cost-sharing. Most of what this 50% does is a facade. Their timberland boots are knockoffs, their phone doesn’t have airtime, and they mark the vodka bottle to make sure that everyone knows the assigned quantity to consume. Again, the guy with the license is a crucial decision-maker.
The remaining 10% are high schoolers who are brave and cunning enough to dupe their parents into giving them money and permission. They arrive in two sets of clothing, the second set more scanty and daring. The girls wear excess makeup and show way too much skin. The boys can be seen trying too hard to be what they aren’t. Everything about them is manufactured for that specific moment. The way they speak, and walk, it’s all fiction. With no money for cab fare, this population is characterized by their dusty Yeezys. No fare means walking long distances on foot. On the field, they jump at every moment to form a small circle and erupt into spontaneous dancing.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter where you fall. The whole idea is to have a good time and to make questionable life choices. That is why these brief moments exist, for you to break free from what is familiar and dive into an entirely new world where the rules are different and so are the players.
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